Leadership part 3: relentless repeatability

The first time I heard the phrase ‘discipline gives you freedom’ was one of those lightbulb moments which has shifted my perspective as a business owner. I used to think that too much structure stifled creativity; when it actually has the potential to do the opposite, as it frees up valuable time and headspace to be a better leader and scale your business.

Before I delve into this topic, allow me to take you on a slight tangent – and introduce the concept of a capsule wardrobe. One of my favourite blogs is becoming minimalist, in which Joshua Beckett describes 8 Reasons Successful People Wear the Same Clothes Every Day – I won’t summarise the whole thing here, but his first two points are around avoiding decision fatigue, and saving time – which both form part of my argument for relentless repeatability, within a different framework. So click through and take a read when you’re done here.

Right… back to business! John Kaufman describes repeatability as “the ability to create processes and systems that determine exactly how the business will work.” They are designed to solve specific problems.

Take a moment to ask yourself when you last said, “I wish there was an X so that I would not have to do Y.”

Whenever this happens in our business, Dom and I set aside time to come up with practical solutions to streamline a process, create a template to save us time, or solve an issue that keeps popping up. (This usually entails me identifying a problem and coming up with a half-baked plan to fix it, which Dom then fine tunes in to something useful for Yellow Door!)

But it doesn’t end there – relentless repeatability is only achieved if the whole team embraces the solution. So, our next step is to explain the why – and this is where the leadership bit of this conversation comes in. Instead of saying ‘do this because it’s how we do things around here’ we try to explain why we’ve implemented a new system or process, and what we hope to achieve by doing so. We then test it, report back and refine it.

A practical example is how we’ve refined the process for social media content to be drafted, approved and scheduled. We now use a platform called Airtable to share draft posts with clients, and Zapier to automate the process of adding them to relevant platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn. This saves about two hours per client per month, as it cuts out back and forth over email and eliminates the manual process of uploading each draft post to the right platform.

This time can be better spent doing sector research, developing new campaign ideas and finding ways to stay ahead of the curve in order to add real value to each client’s business. (This also ties in to part 2 of this series, where I unpacked what it means to win at Yellow Door.)

Another example of relentless repeatability is our ‘power hour’ meeting on a Thursday – where we run through our top priorities and articulate a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) per client. This routine keeps us in check and focused on what’s important. It’s also a great way to connect and work better together… which is a big part of how we do things behind the yellow door.

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